Who is responsible for a ride-sharing accident per Nevada law?
The good news is that if you are injured while you are an Uber or Lyft passenger in Nevada, you are covered for up to $1,000,000 by the company's commercial liability insurance policy if you get into an accident.1
However, if you are driving and you are hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, Nevada law determined liability based upon:
- Who was at fault, and
- Whether the driver was carrying or looking for passengers at the time.
- You were a passenger riding in a car you ordered through Uber or Lyft (regardless of who was at fault), or
- You were hit by, or because of, an Uber or Lyft driver transporting passengers, or
- You were hit by, or because of, a driver who was actively looking for passengers through Uber or Lyft.
To help you better understand Nevada's laws on ride-sharing injuries, our Nevada personal injury lawyers discuss the following, below:
- 1. Nevada laws that apply to ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft
- 2. The three periods of liability by ride-sharing drivers
- 2.1. Period 1: No ride-sharing activity by driver
- 2.2. Period 2: Driver active, but waiting for a request
- 2.3. Period 3: Ride request accepted through end of ride
- 3. Whom do I sue if I am injured in a Las Vegas ride-sharing accident?
- 4. What damages can I recover in a Las Vegas Uber or Lyft accident?
- 5. What if I am partially to blame for the accident?
Chapter 706A of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) covers “transportation network companies."
A “transportation network company” is defined as an entity that uses a digital network or software application service to connect a passenger to a driver who can provide transportation services to the passenger.2
“Transportation services” is defined as the transportation by a driver of one or more passengers between points chosen by the passenger or passengers and prearranged through the use of the digital network or software application service of a transportation network company.
Under Nevada law, transportation services begin when a driver accepts a request by a passenger for transportation through the digital network or software application service and end when the last passenger fully disembarks from the motor vehicle operated by the driver.3
Chapter 706A also sets forth certain minimum conditions for drivers and obligations of transportation network companies. These include background checks of driver's driving and criminal histories and proof that the driver has a driver's liability insurance policy with the minimum legal limits.
Nevada's minimum legal limit for drivers is so-called 25/50/20 automobile insurance. This means that drivers must carry liability insurance that provides at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury or death, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury or death (where more than one person is injured), and $20,000 per accident for property damage.4
The easiest way to think of ride sharing liability is to divide the coverage into three periods:
- Period 1: No ride-sharing activity by driver
- Period 2: Driver active, but waiting for a request
- Period 3: Ride request accepted through end of ride
Period 1 applies when the driver is not carrying passengers and is not actively seeking them. In other words, the driver is using the vehicle for personal use.
During period 1, Uber and Lyft are not responsible for anything a driver does. The driver's personal liability insurance is the only policy that applies.
Under Nevada law, the driver's coverage may be as little as $25,000 per person per accident for injuries or death and $20,000 for property damage.5
Some insurance companies offer Uber and Lyft drivers “rideshare insurance” also known as “gap insurance.” These policies provide extra coverage for rideshare drivers when they are off-duty and do not punish them for using their cars for ride sharing. Such policies are optional and are not required by Nevada ridesharing laws.
Period 2 (also referred to as “driver mode”) is active when the driver has the Uber or Lyft app on, but has not yet accepted an assignment.
Both Uber and Lyft provide contingent liability insurance during period 2. During this time, the driver's insurance is the primary coverage and the ride-sharing service's insurer covers any excess damage.
Uber and Lyft's contingent liability insurance provides up to $50,000 for injury or death and up to $25,000 for property damage.6
While this is clearly better than the minimum limits required for individual drivers under Nevada law, it is still well below the 250/500/50 limits required of taxicabs.7
On the other hand, taxis in Nevada are not required to maintain uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage. This means if you are hit by an uninsured motorist while riding in a Las Vegas taxi, your injuries are not covered by the taxi company.
So in this respect, taking Uber or Lyft can be preferable to taking a taxi.
However, this insurance does not cover you if you were at fault for the accident. It applies only when you are hit by an at-fault driver who is actively looking for passengers using the Uber or Lyft app.
Period 3 starts the moment the driver accepts your ride request. It ends once all passengers have been dropped at their destination and the ride has ended in the app.
During Period 3, the ride-sharing service's commercial liability policy is usually primarily liable. Both Uber and Lyft carry commercial liability insurance with limits of up to $1,000,000 per person per accident (to a maximum of $2,000,000 for all passengers).
As you may have gathered, there may be more than one liable party if you are injured while taking Uber or Lyft or in an accident with a ride-sharing driver.
Fortunately, most Las Vegas accident lawsuits settle out-of-court, no matter how many parties are responsible. If there is more than one potentially liable insurance carrier, the insurers will usually work out the liability among themselves.
In some cases, however, each points a finger at the other. Trying to negotiating a settlement by yourself under these conditions will usually result in your being offered nuisance value to go away. This amount is usually less than you deserve.
An experienced Nevada personal injury attorney will know how to negotiate a settlement when there is more than one potentially responsible party.
Our Nevada accident lawyers will help you avoid the petty delays the insurance companies try to impose to avoid their share of responsibility for your injuries.
If you have been injured by a Lyft or Uber driver in Nevada, a lawsuit can seek compensation for:
- Medical bills,
- Anticipated future medical expenses,
- Physical and/or occupational therapy,
- Long- or short-term care,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Car repair bills,
- Disfigurement, and/or
- Pain and suffering.
In addition, if someone in your family was killed during an accident involving an Uber or Lyft trip or in which a ride-sharing driver was at fault, you may be entitled to recovery in a Nevada wrongful death lawsuit.
While you are not covered by a ride-sharing policy if the accident was your fault, you may be partially covered under Nevada's comparative negligence law if you were only partly to blame.
Our caring Las Vegas accident lawyers can help you decide who was at fault for an accident and which driver or insurer may be liable.
Injured in a Las Vegas ride-sharing accident? Call us for help…
If you or someone you know has been in an Uber or Lyft accident, our caring Las Vegas personal injury attorneys can help you recover compensation.
We fight Nevada car accident cases aggressively and proactively.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyers, call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) or complete the form on this page.
Don't let Nevada's confusing laws for ride-sharing companies discourage you! Let us help you get the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.